Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Power of Two at Sewickley Academy, January 12.

The Power of Two Pittsburgh

The 2012 film The Power of Two will play at Sewickley Academy (map) on January 12 as part of next year's Silk Screen Film Series at the school. It's an American movie based on the memoir of two half-Japanese twins fighting cystic fibrosis with the help of organ donations from Japan. "The film," says the Wall Street Journal blog Japan Real Time,
follows them on a trip to Japan in 2009 to meet with donor families and recipients, and advocate to raise Japan’s still-low organ donation rate. The two are natural storytellers, compelling and poetic on the power of human connections—as twins, biracial Americans, and organ recipients almost mystically tied to their donors. Mr. Smolowitz makes their post-transplant vibrancy—they climb mountains, run, swim—all the more exhilarating by first showing, through archival footage, how they more than paid their dues through countless hospitalizations and surgeries since they were babies.
A lengthy Japan Times review continues:
From the viewpoint of Japan, where only 193 transplant operations were performed in 2009, compared with nearly 28,000 in the twins' native United States, they were the "miracles" of the film's Japanese title indeed.
The "Miracle Twins" (ミラクルツインズ) website has a larger summary, additional resources on the movie and the background, and a collection of reviews and awards-won. The movie is actually available for free Hulu, and at a price via other online sources.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Korean Christmas cakes at Paris Baguette.

Paris Baguette Christmas 2012

Christmas in Korea is . . . different, and one of the biggest traditions there is buying a Christmas cake from one of the big bakery chains like Paris Baguette or Tous Les Jours, ubiquitous ice cream shop Baskin Robbins, or giant leading donut chain Dunkin Donuts. Both bakery franchises have locations in the US, and Paris Baguette has one in suburban Philadelphia (map), where you'll find a few Christmas cakes on sale from the 19th through the 25th.

Paris Baguette yogurt cake 2012
Yogurt Cake.

Green Tea Freshcream cake
Green Tea Freshcream Cake.

Tân Lạc Viên opens in Squirrel Hill.

The much-anticipated Tân Lạc Viên Vietnamese Bistro opened Wednesday on 2114 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill (map). Here's a look at the menu, which at over 90 entrees spread across Southeast and East Asian cuisines looks a little overextended:

Tan Lac Vien Menu FrontTan Lac Vien Menu BackTan Lac Vien menu small
Click to enlarge. The two on the left are front and back of the dinner menu, and the one on the right is a smaller menu available lunch and evenings. (It took several years of scanning and cropping to realize it's the menus that are slightly crooked, not my scanner, but I wasn't in the mood to fight with them anymore.)

Construction started about seven weeks ago, and the awning went up on November 11th in what used to be an Italian restaurant.

SDC11076
On November 11.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Winter holidays at the Cathedral of Learning.

SDC11152

From November 10th through January 19th the Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning will show off traditional winter holiday decorations. There are impressive Christmas displays in many of the European rooms, while the Chinese and Japanese ones reflect New Years celebrations.

SDC11151
Kodamatsu, in the Japanese Room, classroom 317.

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Chinese Room, classroom 136. A decent camera would do this room better justice.

Lots of stuff from Andy Warhol Museum on display in Hong Kong.

Andy Warhol Hong Kong 2012
Via the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

The South China Morning Post has a preview of "Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal", an exhibition at the Hong Kong Museum of Art from December 16 through March 31. With over 370 pieces from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, it is "said to feature the largest-ever collection in Asia" of Warhol's art.
In the Hong Kong stop, more than 370 items - from Warhol's paintings, drawings, photographs, screen prints, movies and sculptures to archival objects documenting his life - will be displayed. While iconic works such as Campbell's Soup, Jackie, The Last Supper, Marilyn Monroe, Mao, Self-Portrait and Silver Liz should not be missed, some Hong Kong-specific work are what make this stop special.

"Andy Warhol archived in cardboard boxes items from his daily life into 612 'Time Capsules' from the 1970s until his death in 1987. We asked the [Warhol] museum to open Time Capsule 23 especially for us, which houses over 20 items related to the city when he visited Hong Kong and Beijing in 1982," says Ng Ka-lun, modern art curator of the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

"The items include a calendar of 1983 he bought from a local book store. Another record of his visit is a photo Warhol captured from the hotel he stayed at, presumably the Mandarin Oriental, overlooking Victoria Harbour and Kowloon."
The Pittsburgh museum has information about this and the other exhibitions on the Asian tour.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Seoul Olympics in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Foxcatcher sign, Oakland
Sign pointing to the Foxcatcher set, Forbes Ave. and Bigelow Blvd. The working title used to be The Fair Hill Project.

The movie Foxcatcher has been filming in Western Pennsylvania for a little while, and today it was in Oakland, at the Petersen Events Center on the University of Pittsburgh campus. They were looking for extras today for scenes, if Facebook was to be believed, depicting the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul.
We are looking for people to work as film extras on Thursday, DECEMBER 13. At the Petersen event center to recreate an olympic wrestling event at the Seoul Olympics. We are looking for people of multiple ethnicities who are able to work a full day (12 hours or more). Would probably start around 10am or 11am and go to 10pm or 11pm that evening.
The movie tells the story of former Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz and the man who killed him. Schultz was a 1984 Olympian and coached in Seoul. I went to the Petersen Events Center today to have a look inside the new Sangmu Gymnasium, but of course it was closed off. One visitor took a few grainy pics, though, and posted them to her Twitter here and here.


Via @NikiMarieR.

Youtube has some wrestling clips from 1988 if you'd like to see the real thing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jiro Dreams of Sushi at Carnegie Library Oakland, December 20.



As part of its free monthly "Real to Reel" series, the Oakland branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will show the Japanese film Jiro Dreams of Sushi on December 20, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in Classroom A. The film is a story, says the official website,
of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.

For most of his life, Jiro has been mastering the art of making sushi, but even at his age he sees himself still striving for perfection, working from sunrise to well beyond sunset to taste every piece of fish; meticulously train his employees; and carefully mold and finesse the impeccable presentation of each sushi creation. At the heart of this story is Jiro’s relationship with his eldest son Yoshikazu, the worthy heir to Jiro’s legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential in his father’s shadow.

Japanese films Madoka Magica (parts 1 and 2) at Dormont's Hollywood Theater, December 16.

Eien no Monogatari Pittsburgh
Poster for the second film, 永遠の物語, of the trilogy.

Just a reminder that two Japanese-language films, based on the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ) and debuting worldwide between October and December, and will play at Dormont's Hollywood Theater (map) on Sunday, December 16 at 12:00 pm. Hey, it's not every day year that Pittsburgh screens a relatively new Asian movie.

As Wikipedia says, there are two films out in 2012 that span the TV series, with a third coming out next year. The Hollywood Theater is showing parts 1 and 2 beginning at 12:00 pm, with tickets costing $20 for both Beginnings and Eternal. No separate tickets, the website says, and 30 free posters available while supplies last.

Origami classes at Carnegie Library Squirrel Hill, December 15.

The Origami Club of Pittsburgh holds origami classes on the third Saturday of each month at the Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill. The beginners class is from 12:00 to 1:30 pm in the Children's Room, and the Advanced Class is from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. The classes are free, though the group requests $1 donations from adults in order to cover the cost of supplies. More information on their "class guidelines" page.

The OCoP will also have origami demonstrations at Phipps Conservatory in Oakland (map) on December 16 and December 30, from 12:30 to 2:00 pm.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

KHRC answers frequently-asked questions about Korean Heritage Room at Pitt.

If you can understand Korean you can get answers to frequently-asked questions about the Korean Heritage Room planned for the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning, via the Korean Heritage Room Committee's website:



The video was uploaded in July, but put on the KHRC's site about a week ago. If you can't understand Korean, it covers much of the same territory covered online already and in this July PennsylvAsia post about the designs for, and progress of, room 304. At 0:33 a student asks when construction began and when it will be finished, to which KHRC Vice Chair Kim Hong-gu answers fundraising will go through 2012, construction will begin in 2013, and it should be completed in the middle of 2014.

Korean Heritage Room Pitt
One design by Arumjigi. A few different renderings exist, and they all look a little different, likely owing to the number of architects and consultants involved and the length of the project's development.

The Cathedral of Learning has dozens of Nationality and Heritage Rooms on its first and third floors which
represent the culture of various ethnic groups that settled in Allegheny County and are supported by these cultural groups and governments.
Also in the news section is a post about an August fundraiser, which teaches us that for some reason Franco Harris is the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Pittsburgh.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh Christmas party, December 8.



As the flyer says, the Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh will host its annual Christmas party tomorrow evening, December 8, at the Bethel Park Community Center (map).